FUV's New Dig
Edge Of The Sun
Calexico is very familiar with crossing borders and teetering on the edge of styles and sounds. So it’s no surprise that the overall theme of the Tucson, Arizona-bred band's new album, Edge Of The Sun, is about straddling places, both physical and spiritual, and journeying from one point to another. Edge Of The Sun, Calexico’s ninth studio album, might be their most expansive record to date.
Laura Marling's Short Movie, her fifth release, finds the 25-year-old singer and songwriter standing on solid ground and feeling confident in herself.
The album comes two years after the Mercury Prize-nominated Once I Was An Eagle (her third Mercury Prize shortlist nod) and during that stretch, Marling took a step back from music. Since the age of 16, she has written and recorded prolifically, toured the world, racked up awards, and experienced life at a frantic pace. Unhappy with the songs she had written for a prospective album, she discarded it.
Needing an emotional change of scenery, Marling left London and traveled through the States, finally settling in Los Angeles. She even abandoned songwriting for six months. That radical California experience gave Marling the time she needed to reflect and realize who she was and what she needed. Short Movie was born from this fresh outlook. It’s the most self-assured album to date from an artist who is not afraid to reinvent herself.
Death Cab For Cutie
Change is inevitable. We’ve all experienced different degrees of change. While some embrace change, others are distressed by it. Death Cab for Cutie has seen some significant changes since their last album, 2011's Codes and Keys, and those seismic shifts inspired the group's brand new collection, Kintsugi. Over the past four years, Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie’s lead singer and guitarist, weathered a divorce from his wife, the actress and singer Zooey Deschanel. In 2013, founding member Chris Walla announced that he was leaving the band. Although Walla did contribute to the Kintsugi sessions, the band faces a future that no longer includes its lead guitarist and longtime producer. Although Kintsugi marks a last glance at Death Cab for Cutie as a quartet (for the moment), the album offers remaining members Gibbard, Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr a solid foundation as they look to the band's next phase.
Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Mom + Pop
Every so often, a new artist comes around who demands your attention. Such was the case in 2013, when Courtney Barnett’s superb single “Avant Gardener," found on her second EP and included on the compilation, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, declared the arrival of an exciting new voice. This week, the Melbourne, Australia native unveils her first full-length album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.
As a musician, Barnett is hard to quickly describe. She is a brilliant lyricist and writes in a style that is both eloquent and street-wise. She has a knack for taking ordinary events and turning them into intriguing melodramas. She is wickedly witty and pens songs that brim with humor and fun, as well as angst and drama. Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is an invigorating, edgy rock album, abundant with Barnett's detailed thoughts, opinions, and candid observations.
Warner Brothers Records
There are different stages to actual lunar and solar eclipses; the varying degrees of darkness and light are combined with the phenomenon of the visible and invisible. The same could be said of Twin Shadow’s third album, Eclipse, which is producer and singer George Lewis Jr.'s first release on a major label. Lewis has gone through turbulent times in the past—his 2012 album Confess spiraled from a serious motorcycle crash. During the recording of Eclipse, Lewis confronted his father's battle with mental illness and the tragic loss of three friends. Wrestling with hope, despair, turmoil and peace, Twin Shadow makes human emotion the unifying force on Eclipse, bringing his 11 songs into focus on an album that reflects a very personal journey for the artist.